Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 January 2017
The Wono and Trego Hot Springs (THS) tephras are widespread in the Lahontan basin and have been identified in a variety of sedimentary environments at different elevations. Davis (1983) reported lake level to be at about 1256 m when the THS tephra was deposited, an interpretation questioned by Benson et al. (1997) who interpreted lake level to be ≤1177 m at that time. This is a significant difference in lake size with important implications for interpreting the climate that prevailed at that time. Based on new interpretations of depositional settings of the THS bed at multiple sites, the larger lake size is correct. Additional sites containing the Wono tephra indicate that it was deposited when lake level was at about 1217 m in the western subbasins and at about 1205 m in the Carson Sink. Sedimentary features associated with progressively deeper paleowater depths follow a predictable pattern that is modulated by proximity to sediment sources and local slope. Fine to coarse sands with wave-formed features are commonly associated with relatively shallow water. Silty clay or clay dominates in paleowater depths >25 m, with thin laminae of sand and ostracods at sites located adjacent to or downslope from steep mountain fronts.
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